, Ill. Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation on Thursday announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC, with its own funds and by approximately business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

Steps in the 2015 Competition

About 1.4 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2015. Every Finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit $2500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 240 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 200 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2015 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 308,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

The semifinalists for Louisiana include:

Alexandria

Bolton High School

Miller, Katherine L.

Avondale

Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy

Andrus, Quentin C.

Bardwell, Colin A.

Hughes, Zachary D.

Schauble, Seth A.

Tarr, Kayla R.

Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Magnet High School

Babcock, Alida F.

Ghimire, Sweta

Haller, Catherine R.

Hausmann, Jacob E.

Hingorani, Anmol R.

Hulgan, Joshua P.

Mccarrell, Kyler G.

Naraghi-Pour, Omeed

Noell, Harry A.

Pittman, Jenna C.

Pulsipher, Eleanor R.

Rahman, Adel A.

Runnels, Celeste M.

Tang, Ruizhe

Wu, Scott C.

Zhao, Ningyin

Catholic High School

Balhoff, Joseph B.

Bishop, Joshua W.

Bourgeois, Julien C.

Campbell, Joshua M.

Chenevert, Andrew K.

Comeaux, Matthew P.

Ortego, Connor O.

Silverberg, Simon C.

Dunham School

Griffiths, Pierce A.

Episcopal High School

Demouy, Robert E.

Homeschool

Kazmierczak, Nathanael P.

Mckinley High School

Hah, Heewon

Sheffield, Anna B.

Runnels High School

Manning, Caleb S.

Matthews, Connor P.

St. Joseph’s Academy

Christian, Sarah C.

Duggar, Marygrace S.

Greene, Lauren L.

Kelly, Gabrielle M.

Phillips, Emily J.

Sicard, Sarah M.

Trammell, Caroline M.

Woolverton, Allison R.

University Laboratory School

Patrick, Henry C.

Bossier City

Airline High School

Shah, Abhishek S.

Broussard

Episcopal School of Acadiana

Munshi, Omar

Chalmette

Chalmette High School

Lambert, Connor J.

Covington

St. Paul’s School

Baldone, Matthew D.

Briggs, Beau A.

Cazenavette, George J.

Dubreuil, John M.

Gold, Maxwell J.

Keller, Ryan J.

Denham Springs

Denham Springs High School

Rea, Morgan J.

Destrehan

Destrehan High School

Frahm, Ashlyn

Geismar

Dutchtown High School

Gilbert, Jolie D.

Gustave, Destin D.

Grand Coteau

Academy Of The Sacred Heart

Devillier, Brooke N.

Gretna

Thomas Jefferson High School

Nguyen, Tram T.

Vedros, Ryan J.

Lafayette

Lafayette High School

Alam, Rafae

Cook, Emily D.

Etheridge, Thomas H.

Feist, Lillian J.

Smith, Madelyn M.

St. Thomas More Catholic High School

Gjertson, Alexandra L.

St. Pé, Luke O.

Lake Charles

Alfred M. Barbe High School

Looney, Emma C.

Homeschool

Conley, Gavin Z.

Sam Houston High School

Comeaux, Phillip D.

St. Louis Catholic High School

Boullt, Zachary P.

Hammond, Lauren J.

Longville

South Beauregard High School

Barrow, Shanna A.

Luling

Homeschool

Lankford, Elizabeth C.

Mandeville

Fontainebleau High School

Bubrig, Louis T.

Campbell, Rachel M.

Pohlman, Sara E.

Lakeshore High School

De George, Michelle M.

Mandeville High School

Klein, Christopher J.

Owen, Ana K.

St. Romain, Corey P.

Metairie

Archbishop Chapelle High School

Rieder, Alyssa F.

Haynes Academy For Advanced Studies

Abughazleh, Ahmad

Ding, Jessica

Frost, Connor

Hoss, Emma G.

Reiner, Elizabeth C.

Vedros, Evan G.

Metairie Park Country Day School

Chesnut, Alexander B.

Downs, Harrison M.

Downs, William B.

Haug, Joanna B.

Livaudais, Robert H.

Lowry, Cameron B.

Shea, Daniel J.

Archbishop Rummel High School

Primes, Timothy D.

St. Martin’s Episcopal School

Palazzolo, Iris C.

Monroe

River Oaks School

Zollinger, Benjamin W.

Natchitoches

Louisiana School For Math, Science, And The Arts

Buchholz, Marika E.

Cao, Aaron T.

Jones, Quentin D.

Lee, Jongho

Magness, Derian C.

Pandian, Somasundara

Thomas, Derrel C.

Velingker, Shiva M.

New Iberia

New Iberia High School

Frederick, Ethan G.

New Orleans

Academy Of The Sacred Heart

Christmann, Caroline

Benjamin Franklin High School

Alexander, Sarah E.

Beriss, Zoe K.

Busenlener, Ashley S.

Eriksson, Yasmin B.

Horowitz, Sophia K.

Jones, Henrietta Katharine

Landry, Madeline A.

Le, Duyen K.

Li, Linda W.

Li, Zhiyu

Mcshane, Francis C.

Moroz, Christopher

Nguyen, Nathan P.

Perles, Aaron R.

Pratt, Eleanor P.

Rahman, Ali M.

Ren, Nancy L.

Robinson, Katherine S.

Snyder, Emily R.

Stern, Eleanor M.

Stern, John H.

Thabatah, Deanna M.

Toups, Olivia M.

Wallace, Alyn E.

Jesuit High School

Arnold, William T.

Bond, Harrison A.

Bussey, Eric W.

Cedro, Matthew D.

Chimmanamada, Rishab M.

Comeaux, Robert J.

Conrad, Kevin M.

Cook, Garth W.

D’antonio, Benjamin M.

Doherty, John F.

Epling, Joel P.

Fine, Patrick D.

Giordano, Mako C.

Hudak, Joshua C.

James, Mark C.

Jaubert, Blake A.

Kernion, Richard

Lacour, Patrick G.

Lorio, Brett P.

Matthews, Freeman R.

Riddick, Michael R.

Rovira, Jacob R.

Sagona, Daniel C.

Sentilles, Matthew J.

Simonson, Patrick R.

Smith, Anthony J.

Sprague, Brandon M.

Stradley, Steven H.

Stuckey, Matthew J.

Talbot, Joshua J.

Tittle, William S.

Tobin, Garrett T.

Weller, Francis G.

Zelden, Samuel J.

Lusher Charter School

Lovett, Helene C.

Mizell, Keely M.

Louise S. Mc Gehee School

Rydberg, Kathryn M.

Mount Carmel Academy

Crumb, Claire E.

Davis, Melinda E.

Garon, Victoria L.

Monistere, Mary M.

Pellerin, Catherine G.

Schloz, Kaitlyn P.

Treuting, Karly A.

Vitter, Airey M.

Isidore Newman School

Garda, Nicolas R.

Heath, Miranda C.

Kelley, Charles M.

Leonovicz, Olivia G.

Luongo, Benedict W.

Savoie, William R.

Siegel, Nathaniel M.

Stone, Gabrielle S.

Sutton, Julian R.

St. Mary’s Dominican High School

Blosser, Kelsey E.

Calamusa, Hannah N.

Mattei, Genevieve C.

Nguyen, Rachel N.

Oliver, Callie

Sheridan, Anna A.

Webb, Margaret E.

Ursuline Academy

Yochum, Tiffany E.

Prairieville

Homeschool

Collins, Seth A.

Ruston

Cedar Creek School

Mcnew, Hannah E.

Ruston High School

Meng, Austin J.

Ruff, Nicholas

Shreveport

C. E. Byrd High School

Bryant, Rebekah L.

Caddo Parish Magnet High School

Basinger, Caleb D.

Carman, Matthew J.

Huang, Vincent

Nathan, Neil F.

Ren, Amy L.

Shacklettet, Ryan E.

Sorkey, Noah D.

Loyola College Preparatory School

Maxey, Benjamin S.

Slidell

Pope John Paul II High School

Mitton, Rebecca R.

Northshore High School

Bennett, Andrew R.

Lew, Alexander M.

Streets, Reed D.

St. Francisville

West Feliciana High School

Nwabueze, Ngozi V.

Sulphur

Sulphur High School

Cole, Freja H.

West Monroe

West Monroe High School

Maxwell, Faith

Osborne, Joshua K.

Youngsville

Ascension Episcopal School

Butcher, Luke M.